Barclays first into giant tech hub in Sheffield

David Mathieson, Barclays business area manager Sheffield, with Nick Morgan, Kollider director.
David Mathieson, Barclays business area manager Sheffield, with Nick Morgan, Kollider director.
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Barclays is taking an entire floor in a huge tech hub set to transform Sheffield’s digital economy.

The bank will open an ‘Eagle Lab’ incubator in Castle House, a giant former Co-op department store on Angel Street.

It has signed a deal with building operator and tech start-up specialist Kollider.

‘Kollider powered by Barclays Eagle Lab’ will be on the fourth floor and support start-up firms in industries including smart materials, health and wellbeing, games development, intelligent environments and media.

David Mathieson, Barclays business banking area manager, said: “Yorkshire’s entrepreneurs need new investment and support to scale up, and we are equipped to help them compete on a world stage.

“As a partner, Kollider brings unrivalled expertise in the digital sector, while our Barclays experts are able to provide the mentoring, connections and collaborations – you could say the two are perfectly paired for this partnership.

“Sheffield is an exciting digital hub with huge growth potential.”

In February, Sheffield City Council signed a deal with building owners U+I, releasing £3m of Government cash. It will pay for rewiring, new heating systems and broadband.

The hub will have workspace for small firms and a restaurant and could eventually house 1,100 people. Council chiefs hope it could be a catalyst for the modernisation of the rundown Castlegate area.

At the time, Kollider said revenue would come from occupants and it hoped to sign corporate partners.

Nick Morgan, of Kollider, said: “Our focus is on delivering a home for an already dynamic community, encouraging innovation and stimulating business growth in the city region. The Barclays Eagle Labs team and wider Barclays community are a critical partner in powering these outcomes.”

U+I bought the building after the Co-op closed in 2008 with a view to reopening it as a shop.

But that changed when the tech hub proposal was put forward with a bid for funds from Government, announced in the spring 2015 Budget.